Three (+1) D.L. Hastons - Contemporaries in Van Buren Co, TN

What were their parents thinking?

David La-van’-der Haston

You will see this “L” name spelled “Levander” & “Lavender” and etc., but I’m fairly confident it is was Lavander for all three men.

In 1848, a baby born in the Haston Big Spring area of Cummingsville, TN was named David Lavander (D.L.) Haston.  Four years later, one of his uncles was born who was also named David Lavander (D.L.) Haston.  Four more years later, another David Lavander (D.L.) Haston was born.  The two younger D.L. Hastons were first cousins and uncles of the oldest D.L. Haston.  But, then there was a 4th Van (Van David) Haston born 24 years (1890) before the first of the three D.L. Hastons died (1914)  All four of them were living in the same general area at the same time for 24 years.  “Will the real D.L. Haston please stand up!”  And all 3 (or 4) would have risen.  

1848: David Lavander Haston - oldest son of Montgomery Greenville Haston

It appears that the David Lavander (D.L.) Haston name began with M.G. and Rachel Haston, who gave their firstborn son this name on September 24, 1848.  Where did they get the idea for the name “Lavander”?  Beats me!  Maybe you can find someone else in the United States from the 19th century who had that name, but I can’t.  Was it a misspelling of the name of the lavender flower (or color)?  Would they have named a son for such a femininely beautiful purplish flower?  I’ve read that “lavander” is a fairly common misspelling for “lavender,” the flower.  Today, that would be like naming your son “Sue.”  Oops, forgive me if you named your son “lavender” or “Sue.”  Stranger things have happened, but I keep thinking there’s probably another source for the name.  

1852: David Lavander Haston - son of (David Haston's son) William Carroll Haston, Sr.

On September 6, 1852, just about four years after the birth of M.G. and Rachel Wheeler Haston’s David Lavander Haston, M.G.’s uncle and aunt, William Carroll and Jane Denney Haston, chose to give their second son the David Lavander Haston name.  Van Buren County records reveal that M.G. and his uncle William Carroll appear to have been very close–even though William Carroll was M.G.’s 4 1/2 year younger uncle.  Growing up, their ages would have been close enough for them to be good buddies.  I imagine William Carroll looked up to his bigger-older nephew with respect and maybe a bit of awe.  And maybe William Carrol and Jane, who lived quite close to M.G. and Rachel at that time, admired little David Lavander and hoped their baby boy would be much like him.  But, to distinguish their son from the M.G. and Rachel’s little boy, apparently William Carroll and Jane nicknamed him “Van.”  Officially he was David Lavander Haston, but to family and friends he was “Van,” throughout his life.

Van Haston, brother of C. T. [Charles Thomas] Haston, ran a fine farm in Western Hickory Valley and raised fine stock. He was a factor in the development of that part of the County but was not as active in the affairs of the County as was his brother, though Van Haston was once County Surveyor. 

Van (David Lavander) Haston married Tabitha (Bitha) Davis in 1875 and they moved to Hickory Valley of White County, TN sometime between 1880 and 1900.  They are both buried in the Old Union Cemetery in southern White County.  His death certificate, with information supplied by his older brother Charles Thomas Haston, shows his middle name spelled – L-a-v-a-n-d-e-r.  

The +1 = Van "Little Van" David Haston - Son of the above David Lavander "Big Van" Haston

To add even more confusion to the mix of D.L. Hastons, the above David Lavander Haston (son of William Carroll Haston) passed his name down to a son, born February 22, 1890.  This son married Iona Cummings.  Although his gravestone in the Cummingsville Chapel Cemetery simply carries the name “Van Haston” and his death certificate gives his name as Van David Haston, I know of one family record which refers to him as David Lavander (Van) Haston, Jr.  My guess (just a guess) = his official name was David Lavander Haston (Jr.) but “Van” became so closely associated with him, that his first and middle names unofficially were switched.

1856: David Lavander Haston - son of (David Haston's son) Isaac T. Haston, Sr.

Isaac T. Haston lived just across the road (north of) William Carroll Haston.  He was only two years older than William Carroll and 2 1/2 years younger than his uncle Montgomery Greenville Haston.  The three of them were probably a “trio of terror” as they were growing up–just fun-loving Haston boys close to the same age.  Isaac T. was the executor of M.G.’s estate, so that tells you something about their relationship.  In fact, about as soon as Isaac T. got M.G.’s estate settled, he died himself.  

I don’t know exactly why Isaac T. and Elizabeth Sparkman Haston chose to name their fifth son David Lavander Haston also, but I’m quite sure it was related to the close relationship between M.G., William Carroll, and Isaac T.  But what were they thinking–three boys with eight years age of each other, living in the same neighborhood, with the exact same name!!!  It must have caused lots of confusion when they were young and it certainly has to those of us who have tried to research the family.  I know of at least one document where the “D.L. Haston” name appears twice, referring to two different D.L. Hastons (without any stated distinction).

Isaac T. and Elizabeth’s David Lavander Haston was born on August 13, 1856.  He married Amanda Bouldin and became a prominent Van Buren County business man–a stock dealer, a hotel and general store owner and bank officer in Spencer, a Van Buren County Justice of the Peace, stockholder of Burritt College, and who knows what else.  The Haston Block building on the east side of the Spencer courthouse square is a monument to him.  

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